Botanical Theatre

The nineteenth century botanical lecture hall hosts events and projections

The Botanical Theatre of the museum was created in 1842 as a botanical lecture hall; restored recently, it is now presenting the new film Goethe. The life of leaves, written and directed by Denis Brotto.

The film imagines a return to Padua, in 2023, of the great German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, played by Giulio Casale, visiting the places that had made such a deep impression on him during his famous Italian journey, like the church of the Eremitani, with its paintings by Mantegna, the abbey of Saint Justina, and most of all the Botanical Garden. The experiences of the past are lived anew through the gaze of the present.

The Italian journey, undertaken between 1786 and 1788, were a turning point in the human and artistic experience of Goethe. With his interest in the forms of nature and their evolution, the Padua Botanical Garden would afford a fundamental source of inspiration: it was here, in effect, that the leaf took on a key importance in his botanical studies. Alles ist Blatt, all is leaf.

This film creates an amalgam of impressions and suggestions regarding three aspects of Goethe’s life: his idea — as a poet — of education and growth; the central place of botany in his interests; and the end of his intimacy with Charlotte von Stein, which occurred at the time of the decision to set off for Italy. His partners in dialogue during this artistic and existential journey were Karl August, Duke of Saxony and friend, and the selfsame Charlotte von Stein.

Goethe. The life of leaves is linked conceptually to The shape of memory, a film made to celebrate the 8th centenary of the University of Padua, which was shown in the courtyard of the Palazzo del Bo during the summer of 2022.



Goethe. The life of leaves
written and directed by Denis Brotto
idea by Denis Brotto - Elena Moreni
with Giulio Casale in the role of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

and with Luca Cacciavillani - Marco Canella - Michele Gamba - Giancarlo Gennaro - Massimo Lunardon
executive production AVILAB
duration: 23 minutes